Kennesaw State hired Joe Speed as its new running backs coach.

Speed comes to Kennesaw from Western Carolina, where he spent the spring season as the Catamounts’ co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach. Previously, he spent two years as an offensive and defensive analyst at UCLA under Chip Kelly from 2019-20.

Speed replaces former running backs coach Tim Glanton, who retired after the spring season.

Speed is well-versed in the kind of offense Kennesaw State runs under coach Brian Bohannon. Speed spent 13 seasons as an assistant to noted option-oriented coach Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech (2010-18) and Navy (2006-09). Bohannon and Speed worked together under Johnson.

Speed began his Georgia Tech career by coaching the inside linebackers, while also spent time coaching defensive backs and cornerbacks.

A 1996 graduate of the Naval Academy, Speed spent a combined eight years as a coach and administrator at his alma mater. He spent two years as the athletic director at the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island, which included a season as football coach.

Speed returned to Annapolis, Maryland, full-time in 2006 as the Midshipmen’s defensive backs coach and the head coach of the JV team. Navy posted a 61-29 record in his tenure, including a 10-4 overall mark in 2009 — its first 10-win season in 104 years.

Navy earned four straight bowl berths during Speed’s second stint with the program.

Speed, a Baltimore native, was a four-year starter at safety for Navy, finishing his career with 260 tackles and five interceptions. Following his graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and reported to Quantico, Virginia, where he trained and took the infantry officers course. He was eventually promoted to captain.

In an additional move with the Kennesaw State coaching staff, defensive ends coach Rico Zackery added the title of special teams coordinator, filling another capacity previously served by Glanton.

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